Respiratory Health Program: Description

Program Description

Older miner in hard hat

The NIOSH Respiratory Health Program (RHP) advances NIOSH efforts to prevent work-related illness, improve workers’ respiratory health, and encourage multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration across NIOSH programs and with external partners. RHP addresses a range of hazardous exposures and related health outcomes in every industrial sector. Adverse work-related health outcomes include:

  • airways diseases (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease [COPD]);
  • interstitial lung diseases (e.g., coal workers’ pneumoconiosis [CWP], asbestosis, silicosis, berylliosis);
  • respiratory infectious diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, avian and pandemic influenza, emerging respiratory infectious diseases);
  • respiratory malignancies; and
  • emerging respiratory diseases (already occurring or anticipated as a risk due to new exposures or other changes in the work environment).

RHP also seeks to improve workers’ respiratory health and devotes much effort to national and state-based occupational respiratory health surveillance.

Page last reviewed: November 13, 2019